About Me

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Bookkeeper, tax preparer, cat lady, blogger, organizer, mystery writer.


I've finally decided that I am a writer - all the other things I do just pay the bills. Someone eloquent once said that if you do what you love, the money will follow. Well, let's just see about that.

RIP Aggie

RIP Aggie
Aggie was my fifteen-year-old cairn terrier - or maybe I should say I was her 55-year-old person! She was my faithful companion, spoiled rotten and I am still trying to figure out what to do without her.

Peter the Cat...

Peter the Cat...
This is Peter the gingersnap tabby! He's seven years old and has just been promoted to Peter the Very, Very Good. He is working his way up to Peter the Great...

Bee - the Cat Who Came From Somewhere Else...

Bee - the Cat Who Came From Somewhere Else...
Bee is Peter's buddy. He's eight years old and has made himself right at home. I guess cats really do come in pairs or sets of three!

And Jasper makes three!

And Jasper makes three!
Jasper is our new guy - the Cat From Another Place. He's four years old and we think he likes it here - so far, so good!

Buzz about...

Saturday, August 24, 2013

It's our first Bee-versary!

Bee came to live with us one year ago today.  He's gone from a shy boy in his crate to the big black cat who greets everyone and thinks he owns the place!
He is happy to share with Aggie & Peter...
He has his favorite sleeping spots...
He does love a chair...
He and Pete like to help with work...
And Bee is always interested in what I am doing...
They both like to see what's going on outside, too.
We are glad that Bee is part of our little family!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

At long last...

I have my home and life under control!  Well, my home at least.  Tax season was rather eventful this year - both in a good way and a not so good way, but I survived.  I discovered that happiness is indeed a choice and that prayer works wonders in the face of adversity.  God helps us help ourselves and that is a lesson that I am very grateful to have learned earlier this year.
Peter has been assisting Aggie in supervising the spring cleaning and the little home projects that have been completed over the past couple of weeks.
I've been wanting to do something with the foyer wall that is part of my client area since just after the first tax season I worked at home.  The wall has a serious fingerprint problem - cheap, flat paint being the culprit.  I bartered with one of my clients this year and he installed this beautiful beadboard paneling for me and a chair rail.  When I have the paneling painted, I am also going to repaint the walls with washable, semi-gloss latex to make maintenance a little easier.  Isn't it cute?
The green table was an L.L. Bean bargain.
Unfortunately, this photo shows the dirty carpet - another client area problem - but that will soon be solved when my bartering client enlarges the laminate floor from the door up to my desk.  No more mess!
The paneling also surrounds the outside of the kitchen bar area.
That's the spot where Aggie likes to rub her face for some unknown reason.
Another mess taken care of!
My "dining room" is actually part of the living room, but it's not like I ever use the space.  I just love my oak table and oddball red chairs.  The paneling really brightened up that corner.  I am contemplating painting the narrow wall closest to the kitchen with the same green paint as the living room wall.
I just haven't decided yet...
I know that I suffer from too much stuff in a small space, but it feels homey to me and that's all that really matters, isn't it?
A few weeks ago, Richard put up my wall words for me - I love it!
That Jane Austen was one smart cookie.
Spring cleaning was long overdue this year - I tidied up my craft area and tried to get my stash of books to read under control.  The antique desk chair was a craigslist find; Tom & Al graciously picked it up for me on one of their forays into the wilds of Sarasota.  As you can see, I haven't quite decided what to do with it yet.  I counted the other day; I have eleven chairs in the house.
This is why my dining room is a corner of the living room - my home office takes up the space intended for dining.  It's just the right size and a convenient spot to see clients and block off access to the rest of the place with Aggie's doggie gate.
My craft area is also part of my home office, and I am always looking for ways to consolidate stuff and minimize the amount of desk space it occupies.  I found this great stamp pad storage system on eBay and finished that project up the other day.  See - more space for vintage McCoy flower pots!
They are pretty and functional.  Who could ask for anything more?

Long post, I know, but I love the feeling of having accomplished something that I wanted to share.  More regular updates this summer!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Small changes...

are just the things we need sometimes - don't you agree?  I had recently moved the red wooden welcome sign I had affixed to the door with sticky tape and the door was looking bare.  Now I've added this cute little hello.  Getting ready for tax season - and sprucing up a bit around the home office - in between catching up on paperwork and answering the telephone.  I love the way my new greeting looks - it's easy-to-apply vinyl and I found it on Etsy for eight bucks.
I think that's a lot of happiness for a little bit of money.
I found an ME print to replace one that was ruined in a moving mishap so I changed it out for the Count Your Blessings print I had previously hung over the client chair.  The other print is moving to the bedroom where it will hang on the same wall as the floating shelves I hope to finally hang up one day soon.  I always have some sort of decorating plan cooking...
My lovely friend, Erin, sent me an Amazon gift certificate for Christmas.  But what to order?  I needed another book like I need a hole in the head - Erin and I are equally bad about ordering (and reading) murder mysteries!  I'd been looking for some sort of wall rack to hang behind the door and when I saw this one and knew I just had to have it.  Another friend had sent me this adorable burlap bag a while back - that awful acid green color that I love with a bee embroidered on it.  It is definitely me!
The rack and the bag are a perfect combination.
I am thrilled with the overall effect.  Of course, I didn't hang it myself.  I leave such technical pursuits to the experts: my friends, Tom and Al graciously installed it for me on Monday.  Aggie supervised and Bee now seems to be quite fond of Unka Al.  If only Peter would come out and visit when they are here...

Friday, January 11, 2013

We love meeting new people...

and Aedan really is a new person - he's just a little over two months old!  His lovely mother, Cari, came by to drop off some papers and he tagged along.  He was a sleepy little guy, so I didn't get to hold him - but is he ever cute!
Aggie barked and he didn't even wake up.  I guess he's used to his own dog, Ava, at home.  It was nice to finally meet you, sweet baby, and we hope to see you again soon!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Not a bad day at all...

considering the volume of work I accomplished in a mere twelve hours.  Of course, the pile of papers still looks big, but it's getting done, little by little.  I rearranged the desk a little to make folders and things more accessible.
I am also making headway on getting ready for tax season: shredder out of the closet, three months worth of cat litter on hand for keeping the associates happy...
The client folders are already done.
Bee is checking out my shoe for some reason - and probably the boxes I'm hoping to have ready to ship out on Monday.  I've decided to spend Saturday at the sewing machine - I am pretty sure I'll need a break by then!
My sweet friend, Erin, sent me an ME-a-day calendar.  The mailman brought it to me today - and I got to enjoy the first ten days of the year all at once!  The funny thing is, I sent her one for Christmas, too.  Maybe we should coordinate our gift strategy next year - and save postage.  Aggie suggested that - isn't she smart?
The wise one - although she is not much help with paperwork...
I did manage, over the past couple of evenings, to finish reading the latest Hamish Macbeth mystery from M.C. Beaton.  Death of Kingfisher is typical Hamish - he is always one step ahead of his nemesis, Inspector Blair, from the Strathbane Police Department - much to the inspector's chagrin.  Hamish is such a lovable character - for being a lazy village police constable, with absolutely no ambition to advance.  The fact that he is truly happy where he is confounds his superiors and frustrates the would-be Mrs. Macbeths.  I can't wait for the next one - number twenty-eight!
I think I've done enough work for one day - time to blow out the sugar cookie scented candle that's been brightening up my work area all day.  Isn't it pretty?  The candle was a Christmas gift and it fit perfectly in the candle holder that Ariela gave me for my birthday.  Another happy coincidence!

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Just hanging around...

the house on Saturday - me and my furry associates.  Aggie has been sacked out on the floor while I am working my way through this pile of client paperwork; Peter and Bee have checked in with me periodically throughout the day.
Looking for treats, probably.
I finished up some correspondence, paid some bills for one of my clients and packed up two belated Christmas goodie boxes for two of my patient friends.
Managed to get a few thank-you notes written -
and a sentence in my Jane-a-Day journal.
My mail lady brought me a package from my friend, Kathy, in Utah.  She is a candy-maker extraordinare, let me tell you.  She found time to make several different kinds of goodies during the holiday season, after volunteering with the Red Cross in NYC for two weeks after Hurricane Sandy.  She was away from home from November 29 until December 15 - and still managed to work her magic in the kitchen.
She makes divine homemade truffles, excellent fudge and this year there is something labeled chocolate log wrapped in parchment paper.
I can't wait to investigate that!
I collected up some books for my weekly Sunday afternoon on the sofa tomorrow.  I think I'll start with A Deal to Die For - second in the Good Buy Girls series.
Review to follow one day soon...
But first I think I'll sample a truffle!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

For some reason...

I am excited by the beginning of a new year.  It may be because I spent a lot of months during 2012 down in the dumps - whether I was willing to admit it to myself or anyone else - but there you have it.  I've let go of a bunch of old baggage over the past couple of months and well, I feel happier than I have in a long time.  Truly happy.  Less worried about life.  More interested in living and trying new things outside the cocoon of my carefully self-regulated comfort zone.  Tom & Al brought me some cookies (and a lovely gift) just before Christmas, along with this lovely wall decal quote by Emily Dickinson: Dwell in possibilities.  I love it.  I've always loved Emily, mildly depressed spinster poet that she was - and I love these words.  I hung it right where I can see if from my desk.  A timely reminder.
Thanks, guys - I appreciate your thoughtfulness more than I can say.
I'm also excited about my new Jane-a-Day journal.  Jane Austen, another favorite kindred spirit (and spinster, I might add), is the inspiration for this five-year journal, which has an quote from one of her works on each page.  It was a lovely Christmas gift from my friend, Marie, and I am looking forward to daily inspiration from Jane's timeless witticisms. I only hope my comments are as witty.
Thank you, Marie, for thinking of me.

I am looking forward to a happy 2013 - a year in which I vow to speak less and listen more, read fewer books and finish writing one of my own.
And this year, I choose happiness.